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Indiana kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week. Here's how you can join in.
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Indiana kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week. Here's how you can join in.

From the ICYMI: Here are the most-read stories from the past week series
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The Indiana Department of Education is kicking off national Teacher Appreciation Week this Monday with an #IndianaLovesTeachers social media campaign.

The department is encouraging Hoosiers to post written messages, photos or videos expressing their appreciation for Indiana educators using the #IndianaLovesTeachers hashtag and by tagging the IDOE's social media handle @EducateIN.

"It is now more important that ever to highlight the amazing work of Indiana educators," Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick said in a news release. "While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many challenges, day in and day out Hoosier teachers are rising to meet these challenges."

A national celebration of educators dates back to 1944, when discussions first began to organize a day of recognition for teachers, according to the IDOE news release.

In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day, according to the news release. In 1980, Congress declared March 7 as National Teacher Day, which extended through 1985, when the National Education Association voted to move National Teacher Day to the first Tuesday in the first full week of May.

Around the same time, the National Parent Teacher Association began recognizing the first full week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week, according to the IDOE.

"Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice deserve our higher admiration," McCormick said of Hoosier educators. "Personally, teacher appreciation is every day, and as such, let me be the first to say thank you to our Indiana teachers."

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb gave a shout out to teachers in his afternoon press conference sharing updates in the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Obviously, we're seeing teachers here in the state of Indiana go way up and beyond the normal call of duty, facing challenges like we've never faced in our lifetimes before," Holcomb said. "They have acted quickly, they have been nimble and agile. They have built virtual curriculum. They have stayed connected with students, whether it be at a central location in the community or to the homes themselves. They're doing parades to recognize student achievement, just a whole list A to Z."

Aylesworth Elementary parade brings encouragement to homebound students

Locally, administrators came together Monday to recognize elementary school educators in the Munster area.

With the help of the Dyer-based store It's My Party, Munster administrators brought a surprise to their elementary teachers. While It's My Party staff helped place balloons at the teachers' homes, administrators cheered from their cars and placed yard signs with an encouraging message: "Whether we are here of there, we teach because we care."

To learn more about statewide teacher appreciation efforts, see the IDOE's website at www.doe.in.gov/effectiveness/teacher-appreciation.

And, join The Times in celebrating Northwest Indiana teachers. You can nominate Region educators for a shout out on our website by visiting nwitimes.com/forms/teachers_appreciation.

Gallery: Let's celebrate Region teachers

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